Chalk and cheese: China Railway’s A-share listing, December 4:
It has been suggested that the strong debut of China Railway in Shanghai on December 3 might ease fears about Chinese IPOs faltering. After all, the 70% gain posted by the country’s premier railway construction firm followed closely on the heels of disappointing performances by Chinese companies the previous week. Sinotrans Shipping, a dry bulk carrier and Sinotruk, a heavy-truck manufacturer, saw their shares fall by 13% and 15% respectively on their market debuts.
But the key factor here is that Sinotrans and Sinotruk listed in Hong Kong, not Shanghai. Mainland investors are still starved of strong companies to buy into, and there is plenty of money sloshing around in the system. Given that stock offerings in Shanghai usually involve the release of a comparatively tiny number of shares at an unreasonably low price, demand is all but certain to outstrip supply. As such, companies routinely see massive opening day gains (PetroChina closing up 163% anyone?).
Hong Kong is a different market entirely. As such, it is premature to say that a strong performance by China Railway A-shares heralds a reengagement with Chinese listings after a week of uncertainty. The debut of the company’s H-shares in Hong Kong on Friday is the real acid test.
[Ed – China Railway passed the test, albeit with a first-day gain of 27% rather than 70%.]
Nokia leads the pack, November 21:
The folks at Analysys International in Beijing send us interesting info-snippets from time to time. Today, they sent us their figures for China’s handset market in the third quarter.
They say that sales volume of mobile phones reached 37.43 million units in the third quarter, growing 7.4% over the last quarter. Then there’s a breakdown by brand.
Nokia has a whopping 35.1% of the market, more than double its closest rival, Motorola, with 13.6%. Samsung is third with about 11.6%. Interestingly, the only Chinese handset maker in the top five is Lenovo, better known for its desktops and laptops, with a rather paltry 6.1%.
Low-cost local handset maker Bird has slightly more than half Lenovo’s share, with 3.7%, while Haier has 1.2%. Chinese brands certainly seem to be struggling based on the absolute numbers, although I’m not sure what the trends are like.
Those figures are for both GSM and CDMA handsets combined. For CDMA handsets only, Huawei is neck-and-neck with Samsung, with 24.4% and 25.6% of the market respectively.